NEW YORK Paris Hilton, who rose to infamy on the strength of an amateur video that never appeared in theaters or on TV, has shot a commercial for Carl's Jr. that also may never run on television.
CKE Restaurants, which has a reputation for politically incorrect advertising, tapped the sexy socialite for a new Carl's Jr. TV spot. The problem, according to a source, is the spot is meeting with some resistance from network executives. "It couldn't be more pornographic," said the source. "It's about as racy as I've seen."
Set to the song "I Love Paris in the Springtime," the 30-second spot, via Mendelsohn/Zien in Los Angeles, shows Hilton washing a car "with hoses shooting everywhere and her soaping everything up," said the source. Touting the BBQ Six Dollar Burger, it plays off her catch phrase, "That's hot."
Hilton is not a stranger to fast-food advertising: Fox has a partnership with Burger King to promote her reality TV show.
CKE has taken flack in the past for an ad that showed a woman putting a fist in her mouth and another where a woman sits on a slowly grinding mechanical bull while eating a burger.
"We liken our advertising to more of what the beer brands do," said Brad Haley, evp of marketing at Carl's Jr. (which targets men 18-34) in an interview with Brandweek earlier this year. "There's a lot of male attitude, personality and edge. Sometimes sex appeal enters into it on occasion. It's something younger guys are interested in."
The strategy appears to be working. The 959-unit chain rang up $1.4 billion in sales last year, up from $1 billion, per Technomic, Chicago. It also has reported 25 consecutive months of same-store sales increases.